School's in for bull sellers

15 Dec, 2004 10:00 PM

THE cattle yards became a classroom in Kojonup last week when a number of livestock agents undertook further cattle training in preparation for the upcoming bull selling season.

Organised by Elders Breeding Services manager Kim McDougall the field day was attended by agents from Elders, Landmark and Primaries.

Koojan Hills Angus stud principal Lew Smit hosted the event which was run by Angus Society of Australia field extension officer Bob Dent.

Mr Smit generously donated his time and resources, allowing the group of 20-30 people to cast their critical eye over his cattle.

"At this time of the year there would be few breeders who would have the confidence to expose their stock to this sort of process," Mr McDougall said.

"However the event shows the faith and conviction that Lew has in his product to allow us to critically assess his animals."

The field day was arranged to train agency staff in the understanding and practical application of EBVs.

This was combined with on the hoof analysis of the physical animal.

The aim was to help agents make effective decisions more easily on bull selection to meet their clients' requirements.

The forum began with a theory lesson on how EBV figures are derived and how these animals are represented in the yard.

The class then progressed to the cattle yards to assess the essential physical attributes of bulls and to put into perspective faults that can be tolerated.

The field day finished with a follow-up on EBVs and examples and case studies on the application of indexes to select animals.

"The key aspect of the day was that everyone can pick the best animal available while keeping to their clients' budget," Mr McDougall said.

"The whole day was interactive, informative and relevant.

"It enabled a greater understanding of EBVs and its application.

"It was also a great medium to expel the myths and confusion surrounding the figures."


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